Fallon seemed to know better than anyone just how tenuous the “Tonight Show” perch has been lately. Memba’ Conan?
“I’ll be you host… for now,” he said with a hugely pregnant pause.
Fallon tipped his hat to Carson, Leno, Conan O’Brien, and Leno, again, another pointed reference to the show’s recent tumultuous history.
Leno, of course, was the 800 pound gorilla in the room. He left the show unwillingly at the top of his game. If he decides to take a late-night gig on another station, say Fox, Fallon could get crushed.
Or, Leno could site on the sidelines like an aging star quarterback, waiting to step in and pick up the pieces should Fallon get sacked in the ratings.
Fallon was on familiar turf during his iconic debut. He kept all of the key players from his late night show, from house band The Roots to announcer Steve Higgins.
“I just want to do the best I can, and stick around for a while,” Fallon quipped. That might be easier said than done.
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